Radio Rewrite

Submitted by nonesuch on Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:51
Release Date
DescriptionExcerpt

Steve Reich’s album Radio Rewrite features the first recording of the 2012 title piece, which references two songs by Radiohead and is performed by Alarm Will Sound led by Alan Pierson; Electric Counterpoint (1987), performed by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood; and Piano Counterpoint, a 2011 transcription by Vincent Corver of Reich’s 1973 Six Pianos performed by pianist Vicky Chow, a member of Bang on a Can All-Stars. The Observer calls the title piece "instantly accessible, instantly enjoyable." NME says of the album: "Deeply affecting, this is a great showcase of a compelling mind."

Description

Nonesuch released Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Steve Reich’s album Radio Rewrite on September 30, 2014 (in the UK, October 6). Co-commissioned for and recorded by Alarm Will Sound, the title piece references two songs by the English band Radiohead. Alan Pierson conducts this premiere recording of Radio Rewrite, which was composed in 2012. The album also includes recordings of Electric Counterpoint (1987) and Piano Counterpoint, which is a 2011 transcription by Vincent Corver of Reich’s 1973 Six Pianos; the works are performed, respectively, by Radiohead’s guitarist, Jonny Greenwood, and pianist Vicky Chow, who is a member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. 

Reich says of his new piece: “Over the years composers have used pre-existing music (folk or classical) as material for new pieces of their own. Radio Rewrite, along with Proverb (Perotin) and Finishing the Hat—Two Pianos (Sondheim), is my modest contribution to this genre.” He continues, “Now, in the early 21st century, we live in an age of remixes where musicians take audio samples of other music and remix them into audio of their own. Being a composer who works with musical notation I chose to reference two songs from the rock group Radiohead for an ensemble of musicians playing non-rock instruments: ‘Everything in Its Right Place’ and ‘Jigsaw Falling into Place.’”

Reich and Greenwood met in Krakow in 2010 during a festival of Reich’s music, where Greenwood gave a performance of Electric Counterpoint that its composer liked very much. (Greenwood has since performed it many more times, including during a London tribute to Nonesuch’s 50th anniversary at the Barbican Centre.) Reich says, “When I returned home I made it a point to go online and listen to Radiohead’s music and the two songs mentioned above stuck in my head. It was not my intention to make anything like ‘variations’ on these songs, but rather to draw on their harmonies and sometimes melodic fragments and work them into my own piece. As to actually hearing the original songs, the truth is—sometimes you hear them and sometimes you don’t.”

Electric Counterpoint was commissioned by BAM for guitarist Pat Metheny. It is the third in a series of pieces (first Vermont Counterpoint in 1982 for flutist Ransom Wilson followed by New York Counterpoint in 1985 for clarinetist Richard Stolzman) with a soloist playing against a pre-recorded tape of themselves. In Electric Counterpoint the soloist pre-records as many as ten guitars and two electric bass parts and then plays the final eleventh guitar part live against the tape.

Reich says Piano Counterpoint “is an arrangement of Six Pianos in which four of the six piano parts are pre-recorded and the last two are combined into a more virtuosic single part played live. For these last two parts to be played by a single pianist it was necessary to move some of the melodic patterns up an octave giving the piece an increased sparkle and intensity. The amplification of the live player along with the pre-recorded playback adds additional electricity. Combined with the practicality of needing only a solo pianist, this arrangement can be heard as improving on the original.”

ProductionCredits

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Electric Counterpoint
Produced, Recorded, and Mixed by Graeme Stewart
Mastered by Christian Wright at Abbey Road Studios, London
Commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival. World Premiere: November 5, 1987, by Pat Metheny, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY.

Piano Counterpoint
Recorded by Ryan Streber at Oktaven Audio, Yonkers, NY
Hamburg Steinway D prepared by Arlan Harris
Mixed and Edited by Florent Ghys
World Premiere: October 23, 2012, by Vincent Corver, at the Pearl, Doha, Qatar.

Radio Rewrite
Produced by Judith Sherman
Recorded April 3, 2014, in Studio A at Avatar Studios, New York, NY
Engineer: John Kilgore
Assistant Engineer: Tim Marchiafava
Production Assistant: Jeanne Velonis
Mixed by Judith Sherman, John Kilgore, Steve Reich, and Alan Pierson at John Kilgore Sound & Recording, New York, NY
Co-commissioned by the London Sinfonietta and Alarm Will Sound. World Premiere: March 5, 2013, by Sound Intermedia / London Sinfonietta / Brad Lubman, at the Royal Festival Hall, London.

Album Mastered by Robert C. Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, ME

Design by Barbara deWilde Design

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

Nonesuch Selection Number

543123

ns_album_releasedate
Album Status
Artist Name
Steve Reich
MusicianDetails

MUSICIANS
Electric Counterpoint (1987)
Jonny Greenwood, guitar

Piano Counterpoint (1973, arr. 2011)
Arrangement of Six Pianos for piano and tape by Vincent Corver
Vicky Chow, piano

Radio Rewrite (2013)
Alarm Will Sound
Alan Pierson, conductor

Erin Lesser, flute
Elisabeth Stimpert, clarinet
Christopher Thompson, Matt Smallcomb, vibraphone
John Orfe, Michael Harley, piano
Courtney Orlando, Caleb Burhans, violin
Nathan Schram, viola
Stefan Freund, violoncello
Miles Brown, electric bass

Cover Art
UPC/Price
Label
CD+MP3
UPC
075597954654
Label
FLAC
Price
11.00
UPC
075597953695
Label
MP3
Price
10.00
UPC
075597954692
Label
96/24 HD FLAC
Price
14.00
UPC
075597953336
  • 543123

News & Reviews

  • The first recording of Steve Reich’s Reich/Richter, performed by Ensemble intercontemporain and conducted by George Jackson, released in June on CD/digital, is now available on vinyl. The composition was originally written to be performed with German visual artist Gerhard Richter and Corinna Belz’s film Moving Picture (946-3). "Reminiscent of his earliest work," says the Financial Times, "it is very beautiful." You can take a look inside the vinyl in an unboxing video here.

  • Nonesuch Records releases the first recordings of Steve Reich’s Runner (2016) and Music for Ensemble and Orchestra (2018), performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conducted by Susanna Mälkki, available digitally and on CD on September 30, 2022; a vinyl LP version will be released on December 2. The New York Times calls Runner “a calmly luminous orchestral piece with the pulsating, propulsive rhythms that animate much of Mr. Reich’s music.” The San Francisco Chronicle says that Music for Ensemble and Orchestra “is a beautiful and dramatically charged masterpiece, but its impact goes even further than that.” The album track Runner: I. Sixteenths can be heard here.

  • About This Album

    Nonesuch released Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Steve Reich’s album Radio Rewrite on September 30, 2014 (in the UK, October 6). Co-commissioned for and recorded by Alarm Will Sound, the title piece references two songs by the English band Radiohead. Alan Pierson conducts this premiere recording of Radio Rewrite, which was composed in 2012. The album also includes recordings of Electric Counterpoint (1987) and Piano Counterpoint, which is a 2011 transcription by Vincent Corver of Reich’s 1973 Six Pianos; the works are performed, respectively, by Radiohead’s guitarist, Jonny Greenwood, and pianist Vicky Chow, who is a member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. 

    Reich says of his new piece: “Over the years composers have used pre-existing music (folk or classical) as material for new pieces of their own. Radio Rewrite, along with Proverb (Perotin) and Finishing the Hat—Two Pianos (Sondheim), is my modest contribution to this genre.” He continues, “Now, in the early 21st century, we live in an age of remixes where musicians take audio samples of other music and remix them into audio of their own. Being a composer who works with musical notation I chose to reference two songs from the rock group Radiohead for an ensemble of musicians playing non-rock instruments: ‘Everything in Its Right Place’ and ‘Jigsaw Falling into Place.’”

    Reich and Greenwood met in Krakow in 2010 during a festival of Reich’s music, where Greenwood gave a performance of Electric Counterpoint that its composer liked very much. (Greenwood has since performed it many more times, including during a London tribute to Nonesuch’s 50th anniversary at the Barbican Centre.) Reich says, “When I returned home I made it a point to go online and listen to Radiohead’s music and the two songs mentioned above stuck in my head. It was not my intention to make anything like ‘variations’ on these songs, but rather to draw on their harmonies and sometimes melodic fragments and work them into my own piece. As to actually hearing the original songs, the truth is—sometimes you hear them and sometimes you don’t.”

    Electric Counterpoint was commissioned by BAM for guitarist Pat Metheny. It is the third in a series of pieces (first Vermont Counterpoint in 1982 for flutist Ransom Wilson followed by New York Counterpoint in 1985 for clarinetist Richard Stolzman) with a soloist playing against a pre-recorded tape of themselves. In Electric Counterpoint the soloist pre-records as many as ten guitars and two electric bass parts and then plays the final eleventh guitar part live against the tape.

    Reich says Piano Counterpoint “is an arrangement of Six Pianos in which four of the six piano parts are pre-recorded and the last two are combined into a more virtuosic single part played live. For these last two parts to be played by a single pianist it was necessary to move some of the melodic patterns up an octave giving the piece an increased sparkle and intensity. The amplification of the live player along with the pre-recorded playback adds additional electricity. Combined with the practicality of needing only a solo pianist, this arrangement can be heard as improving on the original.”

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Electric Counterpoint (1987)
    Jonny Greenwood, guitar

    Piano Counterpoint (1973, arr. 2011)
    Arrangement of Six Pianos for piano and tape by Vincent Corver
    Vicky Chow, piano

    Radio Rewrite (2013)
    Alarm Will Sound
    Alan Pierson, conductor

    Erin Lesser, flute
    Elisabeth Stimpert, clarinet
    Christopher Thompson, Matt Smallcomb, vibraphone
    John Orfe, Michael Harley, piano
    Courtney Orlando, Caleb Burhans, violin
    Nathan Schram, viola
    Stefan Freund, violoncello
    Miles Brown, electric bass

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Electric Counterpoint
    Produced, Recorded, and Mixed by Graeme Stewart
    Mastered by Christian Wright at Abbey Road Studios, London
    Commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival. World Premiere: November 5, 1987, by Pat Metheny, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY.

    Piano Counterpoint
    Recorded by Ryan Streber at Oktaven Audio, Yonkers, NY
    Hamburg Steinway D prepared by Arlan Harris
    Mixed and Edited by Florent Ghys
    World Premiere: October 23, 2012, by Vincent Corver, at the Pearl, Doha, Qatar.

    Radio Rewrite
    Produced by Judith Sherman
    Recorded April 3, 2014, in Studio A at Avatar Studios, New York, NY
    Engineer: John Kilgore
    Assistant Engineer: Tim Marchiafava
    Production Assistant: Jeanne Velonis
    Mixed by Judith Sherman, John Kilgore, Steve Reich, and Alan Pierson at John Kilgore Sound & Recording, New York, NY
    Co-commissioned by the London Sinfonietta and Alarm Will Sound. World Premiere: March 5, 2013, by Sound Intermedia / London Sinfonietta / Brad Lubman, at the Royal Festival Hall, London.

    Album Mastered by Robert C. Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, ME

    Design by Barbara deWilde Design

    Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

More From Steve Reich, Los Angeles Philharmonic